Top Chef Canada 
Top Chef Canada is a Canadian reality competition television series and is considered one of the most prestigious culinary competitions in Canada. The show premiered on April 11, 2011, on Food Network Canada. The first season consisted of 13 episodes, with 16 contestants vying for a grand prize of $100,000 and a GE Monogram kitchen valued at $30,000. Like the original American series, each week the chef contestants compete against each other in culinary challenges. Contestants are judged by a panel of professional chefs and other notables from the food and wine industry, with one or more contestants being eliminated each week. The Canadian edition uses the same graphics and music as the American version of the program.
Top Chef Canada
The first season of Top Chef Canada was one of Food Network Canada's most highly rated programs. The network renewed the program for a second season, which began to air on March 12, 2012. Top Chef Canada returned in 2017 with an all-stars edition for the fifth season. Season 6 of Top Chef Canada returned April 8, 2018, with a lineup of 11 chefs from the next generation.
The host for the first season of the Canadian program was Thea Andrews. After giving birth to her second child, Andrews stepped down from the position. On November 15, 2011, actress Lisa Ray announced that she was named as host. Beginning in Season 5 Toronto-born Eden Grinshpan took over hosting duties. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu Grinshpan is co-founder and executive chef at Middle Eastern restaurant DEZ in New York City and host of Eden Eats and Log On and Eat with Eden Grinshpan on the Cooking Channel.
The head judge is Mark McEwan, chef and owner of several restaurants in Toronto, including ONE in Yorkville and Bymark in the Toronto-Dominion Centre as well as host of the Food Network Canada program The Heat with Mark McEwan. In preparation for elimination challenges, contestants shop for ingredients at McEwan Gourmet Grocery located at the Shops at Don Mills.
The chef started off the season with a bang and proved to be still competition for her ten peers. Week after week saw a chef packing their knives and heading home...and Erica one step closer to the grand prize.
Myself, along with many I'm sure, was on the edge of my seat waiting for the verdict and when it came, Erica Karbelnik was almost in disbelief as Eden informs her that she has been chosen as "Canada's Top Chef". She is the only the second female chef to win this title, with the first being Nicole Gomes during the show's All-Stars season (2017).
Queer representation on culinary competition shows is not entirely new. We watched chef Tiffani Faison ascend to acclaim after her runner-up finish on Top Chef's first season in 2006. Plus, who doesn't love a Ted Allen moment a la Chopped?
That being said, it's rare that a nonbinary chef is given time in the food television limelight, but Top Chef Canada has risen to meet the need. Vancouver chef Kym Nguyen proves they are a culinary force to be reckoned with as the first out nonbinary competitor in Top Chef franchise history.
"I have never viewed myself as a role model...I have always been just myself, living my life and my own story," says Nguyen. "After deciding to [compete on Top Chef Canada], it made me realize that this is actually a great thing for the community. It lets so many people see who I am as a person, a chef, and what it means to be nonbinary."
Born and raised in London, Nguyen has been cooking professionally for over 15 years. When an opportunity arose for the chef to move to Canada with a previous partner back in 2009, they jumped at the chance to cross the pond in search of a more progressive-minded restaurant culture.
After spending eight years in Toronto, Ngyuen settled in Vancouver in 2017. It was there the chef embraced their nonbinary identity and found success working as the sous-chef at the acclaimed eatery Pidgin (PidginVancouver.com). They credit both the queer and restaurant communities for helping them gain a new outlook on themselves.
"It took me a long time to figure out what my true, authentic self was, so living in Vancouver really helped me discover [that]," explains the 34-year-old chef. "When I moved to the city, I didn't have anyone, and I had to put myself out there and make new friends, discover what the community was, and what it meant for me to be queer."
The biggest notch on Nguyen's culinary belt to date is their spectacular showing on the current season of Top Chef Canada. The show's ninth season has been its most diverse yet, highlighting an array of Canadian talent including its first Indigenous female competitor, Siobhan Detkavich, and of course, its first nonbinary chef in Nguyen.
"I sat down with the whole cast [on the first day of filming] to talk to them about being nonbinary," they say. "We had a conversation about it, how I identified, what it meant for me to be nonbinary, and about using the pronouns they/them. All of the chefs made a conscious effort and so did the production crew as well. Everyone was really accepting and they were also thankful to me for sharing my story."
Francis, who is the first chef from one of Canada's territories to compete on the show, impressed judges throughout the season with his modern Aboriginal cuisine. The owner of Aboriginal Culinary Concepts managed to take disparate ingredients and form them into tasty dishes, but the widespread feeling was that the finale was his worst night on the show.
Salmond, who has worked with chefs like Susur Lee (who coincidentally judged the show twice this season), is currently the executive chef at the Walper Hotel in Kitchener, ON. Used to catering to big crowds, the self-taught chef showed serious skills with a diverse number of ingredients throughout the competition, and seemed to be the fan favourite on Twitter.
After Rodriguez won a fish-oriented campfire Quickfire challenge at the start of the episode, he had the advantage of assigning the sous chefs (returning contestants Vittorio Colacitti, Pierre Lamielle and Evelynn Takoff), claiming Colacitti as his own.
Janet Zuccarini, Resident Judge: Janet is a well-known Toronto restaurateur, owning Toronto hot spots Café Nervosa, Gusto 101 and PAI Northern Thai Kitchen.This season, returning all-star chefs unpack their knives and come back to fight for a chance to win a $100,000 grand prize courtesy of Interac Flash and a Monogram kitchen valued at over $25,000. Stay tuned for more information on which all-star chefs are slated to compete in this must-see event.
A: I think the biggest impact Top Chef Canada has had has been raising the profile of both chefs and different styles of food from all across the country and around the world. Having a national stage has allowed our chefs from every part of the country to expose Canadians to a variety of ingredients and cultures: from Caribbean to Filipino, from Mexican to French and Italian, our chefs really represented the diversity of cultures and cuisines found in Canada. We are especially proud of the Indigenous chefs who have highlighted the cuisine and ingredients native to our country.
As such, each episode features four chefs who are tasked with creating plant-based dishes for celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan and rotating guest judges who have various dietary restrictions. Some concepts featured on the series include a feast with Southern hospitality, gluten-free noodles, and an Instagram-worthy fruit-and-vegetable feast.
Season 6, episode 10 of the series' U.S. iteration was titled "Meat Natalie", as an ode to the Black Swan actress' vegan lifestyle. Natalie Portman came as a guest star, and the chefs were required to whip up a a plant-based meal for her at Tom Colicchio's restaurant, Craft Steak.
Many found it difficult at the time, per EW, especially as the plant-based movement wasn't so widespread in 2009. But the challenge winner, chef and now TV personality Mike Voltaggio, made a seriously special and interesting creation.
Season 13, episode 2 had the chefs team up to open their own pop-up restaurant. The entire episode wasn't vegan, however, each team was required to open a restaurant based on Los Angeles' four major cuisines: Persian, Korean, Mexican, and vegan.
Season 17, episode 4, which took place in Los Angeles, also featured a vegan challenge, requiring the chefs to make a six-course vegetarian meal in teams of six. The judges claimed they didn't miss the meat, and were impressed by the organic produce from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market.
Today, Chef Jinhee is the Executive Chef at Calgary Pan-Asian restaurant Foreign Concept alongside award-winning chef and mentor Chef Ly, named one of Avenue Calgary's "top 5 people to watch in Calgary's food scene," Chef Jinhee has earned the reputation as being a fierce competitor in several Canadian culinary competitions as the only female chef competing in the 2015 Gold Medal Plates. She won a silver medal, then came back to claim gold medals in both 2016 and 2017. In 2017 she competed and won the Garland Canada International Chef Challenge.
And, most recently, was one of the 11 chefs to compete in Top Chef Canada season six. It was during the eight-week series where #teamjinhee became a movement with fans across the country cheering her on to the finale where she tied for third place.
The first season consisted of 13 episodes, with 16 contestants vying for a grand prize of $100,000 and a GE Monogram kitchen valued at $30,000. Contestants shopped at Loblaws in season one and McEwan in season two. Like the original Bravo series, each week the contestant chefs compete against each other in culinary challenges. Contestants are judged by a panel of professional chefs and other notables from the food and wine industry, with one or more contestants being eliminated each week. The Canadian edition uses the same graphics and music as the US version of Top Chef.
The head judge (the position held by Tom Colicchio on the US version) is Mark McEwan, chef and owner of several restaurants in Toronto and host of the Food Network Canada program The Heat with Mark McEwan.McEwan returned as head judge for seasons two and three. 041b061a72